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What is Site Search?

If you’ve ever clicked on a website’s search bar and entered in a word or phrase to find a product, an author, a topic, or anything else for that matter, then you already know what site search is, what it can do, and, very likely, how frustrating it can be when it doesn’t work.

When it works perfectly, site search helps people find the information and products they need faster and more reliably. Simple as that!

But if you’re looking for a definition of site search that goes beyond the TL;DR variety above, then you’ve come to the right place. At Swiftype we’ve spent years evolving the definition of site search, as you’ll find below.

Site Search Is More than Just Search Functionality

Site search actually means a lot of things to a lot of different people!

  • It’s a technology for increasing profits and findability: Companies rely on search to make their products and services easier to discover and purchase.
  • It’s an analytics and segmenting tool: Marketers use search as the ultimate analytics tool to determine what customers are searching for, what they might buy and what messaging works for certain segments.
  • It’s a mainstay of the customer experience: Site search will always be about helping people find what they’re looking for, but it’s also about inspiring people through discovery. Either way, a good site search experience results in building relationships and generating loyalty.
  • It can be a tool to increase productivity: Management relies on site search to improve support team productivity by making product knowledge easier for them to find and maintain.

Let’s break it down even further for a more comprehensive look into what site search is.

Site Search Is a Profit and Discovery Technology

Site search empowers customers and potential customers with greater knowledge of company products and services. That kind of knowledge has an incredible impact on the company’s bottom line. No matter how well-structured a company’s website is, most users don’t want to spend their time wading through each page, and instead prefer to find what they need by going directly to the search bar.

Site search learns from every input, meaning it uses previous queries to help narrow down an answer more quickly. It can identify possible answers in seconds despite a massive amount of data to crunch, and it may even suggest better wording to speed up the conversion process.

Site search can also help customers compare multiple products and even suggest similar products which are too good to pass up, leading to an even higher chance of conversion, and ultimately an even larger shopping cart.

The bottom line is site search increases a company’s bottom line. When you empower customers with greater knowledge of products and services, it has the power to exponentially increase customer purchasing potential.

Site Search Is an Analytics and Segmentation Tool

Marketers love site search because it helps them determine what their customers are looking for, the keywords they’re using to find what they want and the filters they’re using to narrow down their searches. It’s great for capturing accurate intent data.

If you are able to understand, in your visitor’s own words and thoughts, the exact paths they will follow before converting, then you have a massive edge on your competition.

Site Search Is a Mainstay of the Customer Experience

The foundation of search is and always will be about helping people find what they’re looking for. And take it from us, that’s easier said than done!

But as technology advances and more insights are gained into how people search and what they search for, site search has surpassed that original vision and evolved into a tool which can inspire customers through discovery and comparison.

Some customers know exactly what they want. Most site search tools cater to these customers. But what about customers that aren’t quite sure what they want? Site search can help these people, too!

Modern site search helps these customers by allowing them to filter and compare products, adjust search relevance based on product ratings or popularity, and discover new products and content by remembering what they’ve clicked on in the past.

Site search is helping visitors discover amazing content, which in turn generates immense loyalty for you and your brand.

Site Search Increases Productivity and Efficiency for Customer Support Teams

In addition to customers, site search also empowers employees with greater knowledge of company products and services. That knowledge helps them to be more productive, efficient and ultimately more trustworthy when assisting customers.

A customer service representative who has to wait on hold for a QA rep or manager to have a question answered is using up valuable time. What if, instead of going to someone else, the answer could be found with the help of a single search bar?

That efficiency raises employee knowledge and makes for a better customer experience overall, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Swiftype IS Site Search

Swiftype is trusted by large and small brands alike to deliver an unparalleled search experience for its customers and employees. Want to hear how your brand could benefit from lighting fast and super smart search results? Start a free trial today!